I received this beautiful book as a Christmas gift, and it actually was the first self-published book I’ve ever read. I don’t really know a whole lot about the self-publishing process, but I was interested to see if there was a noticeable difference from traditionally published books (in case I ever consider self-publishing myself one day). As an added bonus, the story features a real town that I am quite familiar with, so I thought it might be a fun read 🙂
Waupun, The City of Sculpture. A small Wisconsin community with a lot of charm. Except for an unsolved murder that plagues Police Chief Gregory “Grizzly” Adams and his First Officer Clyde Burkiss. LJ Reed and Coby Anderson are journalists writing for a travel magazine. They spend their days driving across the USA, exploring small backroad towns and writing about the local attractions. When their research has them heading for Waupun, a run-in with the local police causes them to stumble upon more of a story than they bargained for.
I admit that it took me some effort to get into this book. It starts slowly, introducing all of the characters over several chapters before getting into the real heart of the story. There were also a few typos, odd sentence structures, and awkward word choices that probably would have been caught in the traditional publishing process, but these things didn’t manage to distract too much from the main story. Overall the writing style was very easy to read and smooth despite those few hiccups.
The book begins following two young women, LJ and Coby, in their travels across the country writing articles for a Michigan based travel magazine. They find themselves in the small city of Waupun, a podunk town in the middle of nowhere, known mainly for its prisons (plural). I found particular joy in this story since I am very familiar with the city, so it was fun being able to recognize some of Waupun’s more popular and infamous spots.
This story is a wonderful mix of mystery, humor, friendship, and love. Admittedly, the love aspect of the plot is a bit contrived, but its very sweet all the same. While in town, LJ and Coby literally run into two local cops who happen to be investigating the murder of a young woman, pulling LJ and Coby into the investigation. Although the story moves slowly, the character interactions are endearing and the murder plot is exciting enough to keep the reader going. I especially loved the fairy tale aspects woven throughout the book.
Overall I give Never So Long As We Live 4 out of 5 stars. Granted, I I may be a bit biased since I really loved reading a story about Waupun and about two kick-ass female writers 🙂